The El Dorado Hills Public Library hosts a pirate gathering once a year in September. Cooper and I attended last year (mostly to gather some last minute supplies for our pirate costumes) and while he was a bit young for it, we still enjoyed it. I’ll give some fair warning here, it’s a little reminiscent of a Renaissance Fair.
They had a preview day the Friday before it “hit the public”. Mostly preschools and family and friends. They had a rotation schedule set up, we spent about 15-20 minutes at each station.
Station #1: A story teller who shared a fictional story about a pirate cat.
Station #2: Historically accurate sword fighting. The kids got to feel the weight of the swords, quite heavy! Station #3: A “sailor” explained some terms and facts about the true life of a sailor, for example, they do not in fact carry their swords with them at all times. Duh! How would you hoist yourself up the ropes with a cumbersome sword hanging from your side.
Station #4: A ship’s cook shared with us the average diet of a sailor/pirate while at sea. Every person on board received a bucket of beer each day (even underaged!), as well as staple food items. I was also surprised to hear that really, only one cook served close to 150 passengers! That’s a lot of work! Station #5: I thought this was by far the coolest! They set up the top level of a ship with sails and all in the grassy area. The Captain shared tricks of the trade, such as how they were able to determine the speed of the ship using an actual rope with knots, hence the nautical term. Also, that pirate loot was not in fact gold and jewelry, but spices. Easy to carry, and worth a lot! He grated some nutmeg into the children’s hands so they could smell it. Also, how difficult it would’ve been to keep the ship on course. Lastly, they fired a cannon – quite loud and exciting!
I encourage you to keep your eyes peeled next year for when the pirates visit! Cooper will still point out, “Pirates gone” when we drive by where they set up camp. What a fun day!